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DC To Webcasters: Drop Dead

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Whatever happens with web radio from this point forward will depend on whatever concessions webcasters can wrest from SoundExchange and the record labels that back it.


DC To Webcasters: Drop Dead
DC To Webcasters: Drop Dead

If the SaveNetRadio coalition had hopes a Democratic majority might help it stave off a crippling royalty increase, they can probably pack those hopes in a sack, add a couple of bricks, and drop it into the Potomac.

BusinessWeek said the result of a recent House Small Business Committee hearing resulted in only an affirmation of Congress’ inertia on the issue. Congress isn’t going to get involved.

Two Democratic Representatives from New York, Nydia Velazquez and Yvette Clarke, commented on their lack of action in the report. Velazquez doesn’t "Congress would be the best type of vehicle to resolve this type of issue.:

Clarke hasn’t heard "what the win-win is" with the issue. Gosh, Congressperson, haven’t you ever heard of a compromise?

A number of Representatives have backed a bill, referred to as the Internet Radio Equality Act, and a similar measure is making the rounds of the Senate. Negotiations may still bear fruit, too.

"We might now be at the beginning of real negotiations with SoundExchange," Ian Rogers, general manager of Yahoo Music, said in the report. He commented on the issue of webcast royalties this week, saying, "the new royalty rates are higher than the revenues anyone can hope to make from related advertising."

As far as Internet users are concerned, it’s been a crummy week. The FTC shrugged at net neutrality in counseling a wait and see attitude to legislation for it. Congress wants nothing to do with the webcasting royalties issue.

At least it was a bipartisan non-effort.

DC To Webcasters: Drop Dead
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  • Chris Richardson

    Another frightening display of the staggering ignorance our elected leaders have when it comes to all things Internet…

    • David A. Utter

      I like Pandora and Finetune. The idea of either of them leaving the net really irritates me. The weirdest thing is that everyone in webcasting may be dependent on Yahoo Music to hammer out a compromise with the CRB.

      By all means, SoundExchange, eliminate another outlet for music fans. Once a critical mass of artists starts embracing fan interest directly over the Internet, you might catch on.

      Granted, the labels will be a shadow of what they once represented. But I’m sure there’s a bad side to that too.

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